A Children’s Choir
She sat quietly in the front pew. Her mind was not on the service. She was wondering how she could make this Christmas a special time for her eight-year-old daughter. Times had not been good lately. Her husband, Scott, had lost his life in the service of his country and to top that, her mother had passed away earlier in the year. Rocks in her life, taken away. Her father had died many years ago and was only a distant memory. With no siblings, she and Connie, her daughter, were all alone.
She was not in a celebrating mood. The only reason she had come was that Connie was singing in the children’s choir. Connie’s acceptance of the loss of her father was a bit easier, for she had become accustomed to her Daddy’s absence. He had been in Iraq for several months before he died. Since Connie’s Grandmother had passed away much earlier in the year, that was only a memory in her young life. However, it bore much more significance for Kathy, the young mother.
As the year wore on, the grief seemed insurmountable in her everyday life. It was overwhelming. Yet, it was Christmas. It is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. For Kathy, it was not. She had no family. She had been allowed to remain in the base housing until arrangements could be made to relocate. Oh, there were military friends. They meant well and tried to provide support for Kathy, but it just was not the same. She felt very alone. Connie was the only bright spot in her life.
One of Connie’s classmates had invited her to church some time back and it had led to an invitation to join the children’s choir. Kathy agreed to let her join, believing that she needed the companionship of her peers. Tonight she was glad she did for the sake of Connie. Connie was really enjoying herself, but Kathy, not so much. “A Merry Christmas”, say the children. Kathy wonders will God give me peace someday? For now, the holidays are sad.
As the children sang familiar carols, a tune popped into Kathy’s head. She could not remember the words, but the tune stuck. Her attention was diverted as she struggled, trying to think of the words. She remembered a story told to her by her father when she was a child. It was a moving story that fascinated her. It was about a flock of birds in a snowstorm seeking shelter yet ignoring the security of an open barn door. It reminded her of the tune that was bouncing around in her head, but the words would not come. The children continued singing with Kathy desperately trying to remember the words yet unsuccessfully at this point. The choir finished their music and the Director spoke to the audience giving accolades to the children. The congregation applauded vigorously.
And, then, it came to her. She remembered the man in the story attempting to shoo the birds into the open barn and in failing, the farmer discovered that the birds needed someone like them to show the way. It was apparent that this is what Kathy needed, someone to show her the way. Who would come to show Kathy the way, to bring her peace? Who had experienced the agony of human life? Who brought peace? Who did that? Someone like her.
He came to earth in human form, as an infant in a manger, just as we entered this world, as an infant. Have you ever reached to touch a baby’s hand and the child will grasp your finger and hold on tightly? He gave us the way.
We need only reach for His hand. Kathy reached out and He took her hand as the children sang the last song. Who gave her peace? Jesus, the Savior.!
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
their old familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!…”
Now she knew the words!
I hope you have the hope of Christ in your heart and soul. May you have a blessed and Merry Christmas.